The Real Choice

Last week I was interviewed on the Americhicks radio program and I talked about my fathers military experience on Hokkaido where he chased down Japanese World War II army veterans who were engaged in a loose insurgency against the American occupation of Japan. I was asked in the interview “How did they catch these guys?” to which the answer was with the help of the Japanese government. The Japanese government understood the choices were not occupation by the United States or no occupation at all. The choices the Japanese faced were occupation by the United States or occupation by the Soviet Union. The Japanese understood that occupation by the United States was far superior to occupation by the USSR.

The Japanese government understood the real choice before them.

Today in the United States most people are arguing over the appropriate level of welfare state. Donald Trump has tweeted that the country should spend much more money on healthcare. Ivanka Trump has said that family leave should be mandatory and President Trump has included family leave in his budget. Obama, Clinton, Sanders, Warren and company desire cradle to grave government care – paternalism for everyone!

Puerto Rico has recently discovered, and Illinois is in the process of discovering, that deciding on the appropriate level of welfare state is not the choice. The choice we will have to make is whether we voluntarily dismantle the welfare state or allow the welfare state to collapse.

It would seem that everyone is aware that the Federal debt is about $20trillion. However – that is the official ‘on the books’ debt. The Congressional Budget Office estimates the actual amount that the Federal government is on the hook to pay as $210trillion – or more than ten times what the Federal government actually counts as ‘the debt.’

How did we find ourselves in such an absurd situation? Here is how: when Lyndon Johnson was President he attempted to launch the Great Society concurrent with fighting a very expensive war in Viet Nam. This ballooned the Federal debt and LBJ, looking to a re-election campaign that never occurred, ordered the Federal government to abandon Generally Acceptable Accounting Principles. In a nutshell, LBJ directed the Federal government to only count debt that LBJ found politically expedient to report. Problem fixed, right?

Not hardly. By publicly reporting only a portion of the debt it has provided congress and subsequent Presidents political cover to spend money and buy votes via deception. The deception has allowed the American voters to believe that they have choices available that they do not actually have – certainly not indefinitely. I am unaware of anyone not named Krugman who believes the United States will honor that $210trillion debt. The debt is not mathematically possible to pay without monetizing, i.e. printing money to pay the bills. Yet the impossibility of paying this debt never prevents us from pretending that it does not exist.

There is a logical mathematical outcome that usurps pretending. Puerto Rico and very soon Illinois will have attained an understanding of this logical mathematical outcome. Others will follow quickly.

The actual choice before us is if we will voluntarily dismantle the welfare state or allow it to collapse. If we choose to voluntarily dismantle the welfare state we can strive for some level of fairness in doing so. If we choose to continue pretending until the welfare state collapses it will only be fair in terms of the absoluteness of the misery and destruction. Amazingly enough those who plan to continue pretending right up until collapse have appropriated the terms ‘fair’ and ‘compassionate’ for themselves.

Still not at peak absurdity.

CNN, Hypocritical, Blackmailing Thugs: “Nice anonymity you got there. It would be a shame if something happened to it and we outed you to the leftist mob.”

Well, this is chilling. CNN is quite the hypocritical thug. It cyber tracked and identified the social media user who created the wrestling body slam meme, a Reddit user who goes by the charming name Han Asshole Solo. CNN issued this statement about the man’s apparently successful subsequent reeducation:
 
CNN is not publishing “HanA**holeSolo’s” name because he is a private citizen who has issued an extensive statement of apology, showed his remorse by saying he has taken down all his offending posts, and because he said he is not going to repeat this ugly behavior on social media again. In addition, he said his statement could serve as an example to others not to do the same
CNN reserves the right to publish his identity should any of that change.
 
Let’s observe a couple basics. Han Asshole Solo made an amusing, sophomoric meme on a personal social media account. He is not a public figure. He didn’t ask the president of the United States to retweet his handiwork. Beyond CNN getting its knickers in a twist over the widespread laughter that ensued at its expense, there is nothing newsworthy about Mr. H.A.S.
 
But, critics must be stifled, examples must be made, and horse heads must be put in beds.
 
So, for the sin of of digital parody mocking a global media company by a private citizen, and at pain of being dangled like meat in front of howling, frothing, leftists who, when they aren’t pounding out vitriol on their devices are probably filing their teeth sharp (Don’t believe me? Spend some time reading lefty message boards on lefty websites) CNN has extracted a sincere apology with real remorse, and a promise that Mr. H.A.S. will not repeat his “ugly” “offending” behavior. Or else.
 
This sanctimony comes to you courtesy of the network that knowingly publicized the fabricated dossier about sexual shenanigans in a Moscow hotel, whose president demands of the staff more Russia, Russia, Russia, Russia, for clicks and profit, whose autocorrect defaults “benign contacts” into “collusion” and who repeatedly embarrasses itself with fake Russia news. It comes from the network that lives and breathes and glories in anonymous leaks meant to harm and embarrass the president, from sources that may or may not know, but who are only too happy to shout into the global microphone, under the protective, collusive cover of CNN. Yes, that company has rooted out the ugly, offending behavior of an anonymous schmo and taken steps to get his mind right.
 
Pathetic.They appear to be beyond embarrassment.

Lies, Myths And Half-Truths About The Free Market

“[Freedom is] the societal condition that exists when every individual has 100% control of his own property.” — Andrew Galambos

“The most important single central fact about a free market is that no exchange takes place unless both parties benefit.” – Milton Freedman

The lies, myths and half-truths repeated about a free market are legion and endless. They include:

·      Corporations will be in control.

·      You will be forced to ______ (fill in the blank).

·      It requires most people to live in poverty.

·      We will have sweatshops!

On and on and on…

Let us be clear: these are not the characteristics, attributes or results of a free market. These are the characteristics, attributes and results of state directed markets. These are the characteristics, attributes and results of using coercion, force or compulsion.

Some of the characteristics, attributes and results of a free market are:

·      No transaction takes place unless all parties benefit.

·      You are in control of your property, not the government or anyone else can force you do anything with your property.

·      Free market economic systems are the only economic systems in which people are financially rewarded for raising people out of poverty rather than having an incentive to keep them in poverty.

·      Only free markets offer equality of opportunity.

·      Free markets do not take into account race, gender, political connections or your last name. Everyone enters a free market as an equal.

What a free market generally requires and rewards is work. In a free market people are not usually rewarded without work being an integral component in how much of a reward you receive.

It is truly sad that we have so ingrained government control into the lives of Americans and so filled peoples heads with mythical horror stories that a system of freedom and reward proportionate to effort expended is now being fought against so violently.

Happy Fourth Of July – Now Go Take Your Country Back

We have government that destroys liquidity, punishes companies for hiring people, requires people to buy corporate products that they do not want, and provides the maximum discouragement in being employed or starting a business.

 

We also have the same government injecting somewhere on the order of $3 trillion dollars a year into the economy via corporate welfare, subsidies and credit in order to keep afloat the very businesses they punish and to make sure those people who are shut out of the employment market can eat and have a roof over their head.

 

The overwhelming majority of the money the government injects into the economy ends up in the hands of the wealthy. Under Obama’s regime the middle class has lost 29% of its’ net wealth and the poor have lost 45% of their net wealth, yet the top 7% have seen their net wealth increase by $15 trillion.

 

51% of Americans now have less than $1000 in the bank and with 50% of Americans currently having a net worth that is south of $5000 the majority of people are in a very precarious position for the next downturn. When you factor into their net worth the amount of public debt owed – over 80% of Americans are in the hole on net wealth. They owe more than they have.

 

It gets even worse when you consider that for many Americans the bulk of their net worth is the equity in their home – which is a very ephemeral number indeed. Government now compels people by law to purchase health insurance – which has been skyrocketing in price – and everyone needs a place to live. The liquidity injections have caused a bubble to form in housing, which has translated into sky rocketing rents as well.  Real wages have been declining for the past eight years and rent and healthcare has increased in price leading many to rely on debt in order to maintain the standard of living to which they have become accustomed – debt that reduces their net worth. A recent Pew Poll shows that for the first time ever the middle class is now a minority in the United States – the middle class has dipped below 50% of the population.

 

Let this all sink in a bit.

 

Happy Fourth of July!

 

Now go take your country back.

The Baraktacular, Never Ending, Resistance and Subversion Tour

And they call Donald Trump a narcissist. Whatever vanity and thin skin Trump puts on ample display, he is free from a particular delusion that is tragically gripping Barack Obama, causing him to do and say strange and inappropriate things on the world stage: Donald Trump is the duly elected president of the United States and Obama can’t seem to accept that he no longer is.
 
From the earliest hours after Trump’s unexpected election, Obama has angled to vex and trip up his successor. He changed the rules on agency sharing of classified information, making it easier to distribute dirt and innuendo into the right hands for anonymous, felonious leaking to complicit reporters eager to do their part. It is likely ongoing investigations will unearth more machinations of the old administration, but one thing doesn’t need uncovering. It’s happening right in our faces.
 
To an unheard of degree, Obama is acting as an opposition president in exile. He is stalking Trump around the globe, meeting with foreign leaders in the same nation Trump is making official state visits, and generally acting like a Cinderella who doesn’t realize her clock struck midnight. His shtick includes aggressive, detailed critiques of moves by the administration and by the Republican Congress of the kind that have been considered unpresidential through all modern history.
 

It would be inaccurate to say Obama let the door hit him on the way out. He simply refuses to go out. Time Magazine and the capitol newspaper The Hill capture some of Obama’s gems in a speech to the Fourth Congress of the Indonesian Diaspora in Jakarta, where he ripped into the current administration, warning against “aggressive nationalism,” withdraw from the Paris accords, “strong men,” “hostility to those who look different,” and attacks on freedom of religion and freedom of the press.

 

“We start seeing a rise in sectarian politics,” Obama said. “We start seeing a rise in an aggressive kind of nationalism. We start seeing both in developed and developing countries an increased resentment about minority groups and the bad treatment of people who don’t look like us or practice the same faith as us.”
This swirl of smug leftism takes some unpacking. There is no evident outbreak of saber rattling by developed and developing nations. What appears to be happening is a growing rejection by voters around the world of elites’ globalist consensus and the accelerating transfer of sovereignty, government, and administration from nation states to regional and global bodies.
 
England’s vote for Brexit was not aggressive nationalism. It was a rejection, both weary and angry, of Eurocrats in Brussels presuming to the be the center of commercial, social, and cultural regulation for England and other EU nations.
 
Similarly, the US mood to reject Obama’s style of globalism and multi-lateralism is not “aggressive nationalism.” It is a reversion to the historical vision that America is a proud and free nation that governs itself in its own interest and according to the formula in its constitution. Americans have tired of Obama’s “lead from behind,” America last vision. Anyway, Obama was content to hang back only regarding matters not dear to his heart, like combating ISIS and Islamic extremism at home or in the Middle East.
 
When it came to things like binding America to being the global sugar daddy in the fight against fossil fuels, or binding the US to international obligations in a disastrous nuclear deal with Iran, Obama was only too eager to lead the parade. He fashioned anti-constitutional strategies to subordinate the US to UN resolutions and global accords without submitting them to the Senate for ratification.
 
America grew sick of global citizen Obama’s unilateral approach, to the extent it took a leap for a loudmouth like Trump who promised to put America first. Obama now gravely warns of the dangers of aggressively backtracking on his surrenders of sovereignty. Mr. President, you had your turn. Your vision lost last election. The American way is that the new president gets to introduce policies and govern. Voters will judge him based on results.
 
Obama’s reference to bad treatment of people who don’t look like us is just plain slimy. Obviously, Obama is referring to concern about Islamic terrorism and an uncontrolled influx of immigrants of unknown intent and disposition. Trump’s controversial Executive Order temporarily limiting immigration applies to just seven of over 62 Muslim and Arab nations. It is not a blanket policy against a religion. Moreover, the seven nations were identified not by the current administration, but by Obama’s administration as posing “a heightened risk” for security and terror threats. But, there’s Obama, keeping it classy, implying America is hostile to brown people.
 
Similarly, securing our national border is about maintaining national sovereignty and security. It does nothing to undermine the standing and rights of Americans of any color.
 
The ex-president also offered the following toast to his homeland: “If you are strong in your own faith then you should not be worried about someone else’s faith.” This is audacious. Trump’s policy on increased vetting of immigrants from seven essentially failed states has nothing to do with anyone’s faith. Too, there’s the hypocrisy that Obama’s administration was notoriously hostile to conservative Christians. It sued the Little Sisters of the Poor to make them provide abortifacients contrary to Catholic doctrine. It sued Hobby Lobby for similar reasons, denying that people’s free exercise of religion has any safe space in the work place. It sided against a Georgia private Christian school, trying to force it to retain a male teacher who married a man, contrary to church teaching. Apparently, Obama is not “strong in his own faith,” because he was certainly worried about the free exercise of conservative Christians.
 
As a final insult to reality and decency, Obama admonished: “What we will see is more and more people arguing against democracy, we will see more and more people who are looking to restrict freedom of the press, and we’ll see more intolerance, more tribal divisions, more ethnic divisions, and religious divisions and more violence,”
 
This is rich coming from the man who speaks for the movement fighting to reject the results of the last election. Who spied on reporters, prosecuted reporters, surveilled reporters. New York Times reporter James Risen calls Obama the most anti-press president since Nixon. Trump merely insults them. Obama actually sicced the government on them. As for tribalism, Obama was a provocateur who always seized on the opportunity to divide. He called his grandmother a “typical white person.” He insisted, without knowing the facts, that the Cambridge police had acted stupidly in arresting his friend Henry Louis Gates. He reminded the world that his son might have looked like Trayvon Martin. He dispatched Eric Holder to stir discord at the justified police shooting of Eric Brown, who was attacking an officer.He famously told labor leaders he wants to reward his friends and punish his enemies. He was America’s Divider in Chief.
 
Protected by the press for the last eight years, Obama sowed all the strife and division he now accuses Trump of encouraging. And he can’t tear himself away from the spotlight.
 
 
 
 

Not A Free Market

Recently I wrote about how what we have in the United States is fascism. That bothered some people.

Let me make my case. “This does not look like Mussolini’s Italy, the government does not control everything!” Allow me to counter: Mussolini did not directly control every little bakery in Italy. However Mussolini did indirectly control every little bakery in Italy. The United States government does not directly control every little bakery in the United States but they do indirectly control every little bakery in the United States right down to who you do or do not have to bake a cake for.

A further example is the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare as it is more commonly known. Who wrote that legislation? It was not your senators and congress people, they not only did not write it they did not even bother to read it. A former Vice President of Well Point drafted the Obamacare legislation. Obamacare was written by and for the health insurance industry.

Now some of you may think “But look at all the people who got healthcare.” Actually let us look at all the health insurance policies that have now been purchased by the force of law. We have fewer doctors, nurses, medical clinics and hospitals than we had before that act was passed so there is no plausible defense that we have increased the amount of healthcare for there is less healthcare available now than before that bill was passed.

If you sell healthcare insurance this was an outstanding bill. If you actually require healthcare it is a disaster that just gets worse by the day.

Government regulation, legislation, bureaucracy, and taxation are now the driving factor in each and every business in America. This is done for the advantage of a few corporations at the expense of each and every one of us. General Motors does not fear the government, General Motors is partners with the government. General Motors fears Tata selling $2,000 cars in San Diego. General Motors instructs the government to inflict regulation, legislation, bureaucracy, and taxation to make sure that Tata cannot sell a $2,000 car in San Diego.

Not a free market, not capitalism.

I will return to what Mussolini said, “Fascism should more properly be called corporatism because it is the merger of state and corporate power.” You need to grasp that and grasp that this is the situation that we are operating under.

I have no problem with corporations. Corporations are a means of allowing many people to pool their capital and accomplish something they could not individually accomplish. That is a good thing.

I have no problem with successful individuals. I have no problem with billionaires.

I have an enormous problem when people use the power of government to create unfair situations from which they can personally profit and all the rest of us suffer. That is not what the United States was intended to be yet that is exactly what we have and the American political left wants more of it.

I think we have had quite enough.

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